Monday, October 18, 2010

Dan, David, and more Martin

Daniel Gilbert muses in the NY Times about the 'magic' of numbers:

Here he references one study I find a bit hard to believe:
"The sound a number makes can influence our decisions about it. In a recent study, one group was shown an ad for an ice-cream scoop that was priced at $7.66, while another was shown an ad for a $7.22 scoop. The lower price is the better deal, of course, but the higher price (with its silky s’s) makes a smaller sound than the lower price (with its rattling t’s).
And because small sounds usually name small things, shoppers who were offered the scoop at the higher but whispery price of $7.66 were more likely to buy it than those offered the noisier price of $7.22 — but only if they’d been asked to say the price aloud."
A few posts back I linked to an entry at another blog on one of my designated 'Fab Four' (Carl Gauss), and now RJ Lipton has put up a nice post on his blog on another of those Fab Four, David Hilbert and his insights:

And as we approach the Oct. 21 'Celebration of Mind' in honor of Martin Gardner, yet another piece on him, this time from the latest edition of American Scientist magazine:


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